This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 21/09/2012
NZ 51 SW (5313)
West side (off)
Grey Towers House, (Poole Hospital) and attached wall
Country house, 1865-67 by John Ross (Darlington), for W.R.I. Hopkins. Converted to sanatorium 1932; now residence for hospital staff. Squared random ironstone rubble, with sandstone quoins and dressings. Lakeland slate roofs. High Victorian Gothic style. 2 storeys and attic storey. Asymmetrical 6-bay east entrance front, with slightly-projecting gabled right end bay and projecting tower in 3rd bay with projecting one-storey open porch. Porch has chamfered corners, clasping buttresses and stilted segmental-pointed openings with moulded heads on short nook shafts with carved capitals. Low parapet ornamented with blind quatrefoils, and shields in shaped gables. Deeply-recessed 3-bay arcaded screen, with moulded heads, octagonal colonnettes with carved capitals and ornamental cast iron panels in right and left openings, leads to inner porch with carved lower-and traceried glazed upper-panelled double doors and sidelights, up 4 steps. 4-stage tower has offsets between upper stages, and chamfered corners on 4th stage. Canted bay window on 2nd stage. 3rd stage has balcony with fancy iron balustrade fronting tripartite window, in segmental-pointed recess, flanked by grotesques. Trefoil light in triangular opening, with curved sides, on 4th stage. Arcaded frieze and cornice, with grotesques at angles, below shaped shallow parapet and recessed spire with weather vane and compass finial. 2-storey, 5-light square bay window at right end, relieving arch between floors and hipped stone roof with gabled dormer window. Blind windows in left end bay, the ground floor with carved shield. Sash windows, paired and in groups, some with cusped heads, in pointed, Caernarvon, and cusped openings, all with carved-stopped hoodmoulds and sill strings. Shaped-gabled half dormers, with blind foils in gables, in bays flanking tower. Shallow quatrefoil-ornamented parapet. Steeply-pitched roof has ornate transverse ridge stacks. One-storey, one-bay, service wing, with end stack, adjoins right, with 3-light cusped window. Lower wing, with Caernarvon-arched door and circular window, adjoins further right. Similar, restrained, 5-bay left return, with enriched oriel window between 3rd and 4th bays, and hipped roof at left end. Truncated and partly rebuilt stacks. Similar west garden front, has 6 steps up to projecting porch with glazed doors and overlight, in wide basket-headed opening, under 8-light mullioned window and shallow shaped parapet. Truncated ridge stacks. One-storey, 2-span, left service wing has 2 tall stacks. North elevation has plaque in half dormer, with raised intertwined monogram : W.R.I.H.; and gabled bellcote with bell. Ornamental garden wall, with hollow-chamfered copings, basket-arched gateway intermediate and terminal piers with ball finials, adjoins south-east corner of house and curves 90° to run east for c.30m.
INTERIOR: porch has Tudor-style panelled ceiling. Entrance hall has wainscoting with linenfold centre panels, and Jacobean-style ceiling with geometric panels enriched with roundels, fruit and flowers. Panelled doors and reveals in architraves. Carved wood chimney pieces with mirrored Overmantels and Tudor-arched hoods. Staircase string enriched with carved and moulded ribs, shields. etc.; wrought-iron balustrade. Largely disused and dilapidated at time of resurvey.
HISTORY: Home of Sir Arthur J. Dorman, co-founder of Dorman Long & Co. Ltd., from 1895-1931.
This house was built for W R I Hopkins, ironmaster, who in 1873-4 employed the London interior decorators Collinson & Lock to produce interiors designed by the architect E W Godwin. These interiors were in the revolutionary Aesthetic style, and though much of this scheme has been covered over in later years recent research has proved that much of it still survives today under these later alterations. Most of this decoration consisted of hand stencilled paper in soft pastel colours with simple decorative motifs much influenced by Japanese design. The entrance hall, which is now partly panelled, retains rose pink paper walls with leaf and rose decoration, plus a darker dado with diamond pattern frieze. The staircase hall has fragments of its original paper decoration under the dado rail which has now been removed, this was partly cream with a green and russet lattice pattern with roundels and also pink with 'shishi' motifs, plus a naturalistic frieze. The drawing room and attached ante room, which are now partly panelled, have beige walls covered with a gold lattice pattern of roundels filled with peacocks, a motif much used in Aesthetic decoration. The dining room has fragments of the original pink paper with painted lines to the perimeter of the wall above and below the dado decorated with a cockerel's comb motif. The library and breakfast/morning room retains fragments of the original pale blue paper with single stencilled flower dado and botanical frieze. Upstairs, the boudoir has sage grey walls with painted lines to the perimeter of the wall and a pink dado with Japanese flower frieze. The bedrooms to the west have similar decoration with various patterned friezes. The tower room over the entrance hall has fragment of another gilded decorative scheme. Though often very fragmentary this is by far the best preserved internal decorative scheme designed by the famous Victorian architect E W Godwin. This house has been extensively vandalised and many of the interior fittings have been removed, it has also suffered a small fire in the summer of 1994.
Listing NGR: NZ5362813392